The RSA hosts one of the world’s leading public events programmes, delivering over 100 lectures, talks, screenings and debates a year. These events provide a platform for our most exciting public thinkers, and encourage intelligent exploration of today’s most urgent social challenges. Our public programme welcomes speakers from across the world and across disciplines – all united by a belief in the power of ideas to inspire and motivate social change.
Award-winning journalist, author and hit podcaster Elizabeth Day shares the valuable life lessons to be learned from things going wrong. In her new book, Elizabeth shares honest, uplifting stories of her own experience of failure, as well as insights gleaned from her interviews with people from all walks of life who found that life’s twists, turns and tragedies shaped them far more profoundly than the times of plain sailing. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 11th April 2019. ...more
One of the world’s most influential public thinkers Cass Sunstein explores the different ways that social change can happen, from nudges to movements to cascades. Drawing from two new books On Freedom and How Change Happens, Sunstein explores the myriad ways that change can happen at both individual and social scale, ranging from gradual nudges, to growing movements to sudden cascades. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 4th April 2019. Discover more about this event here: http...more
How can storytelling help us navigate the world around us? Writer Will Storr explores the science behind humanity’s most powerful tool. Stories shape as well as reflect the world we live in, moulding our cultural identities, framing our politics and beliefs, and giving meaning to our experiences. Storytelling runs throughout our individual and collective lives, from our newspapers and our law courts to our religions, our song lyrics, and our teenage diaries. It’s out of these stories that our c...more
How does class background affect our prospects in the workplace and in life? Sociologist Sam Friedman shares his insights into the hidden barriers to equality in elite occupations. Social mobility is a goal often hailed by politicians and voters across the spectrum, but evidence shows that we’re falling short of the meritocratic ideal. The effects of social class are shown to follow us throughout our lives in intangible ways, dictating how we are perceived by others, opening or closing doors to...more
Caroline Lucas MP is joined by Professor David Runciman to discuss the urgent need for reform of our political systems in order to confront the intractable challenge of climate change. Liberal democracy is coming apart, under threat from the rise of populism and increasingly unable to deliver the solutions to the multiple challenges facing society. We urgently need bold and radical ideas - not just for the policies we need to tackle the many crises we face - but for the processes necessary to u...more
What’s missing from our public life? Renowned economist Raghuram Rajan explores the power of community in a world that’s left civil society behind. An assumption underlying the politics and economics of the moment goes like this: that what matters are governments and markets, and the interaction between them. What about the rest of society? The ‘third pillar’ – community – has been forgotten in a world increasingly shaped by globalisation and technological innovation. Focusing on the state and ...more
What lessons can we learn from successful leaders about how to navigate the challenges we face today? A panel gathers to reflect on the leadership of the moment and the take-home lessons from the worlds of politics and business. We’re seeing the effects of a crisis of leadership across the board, amidst the recent US government shutdown, abuse of corporate power, and the splintering of mainstream political parties. What’s gone wrong? What does it really mean to be a good leader in politics or i...more
The desire for fairness is a fundamental human attribute – but should it be a core business goal? With philosopher Baroness Onora O’Neill and Justin King, former CEO of Sainsbury’s. Whether the issue is pay, tax, or environmental harm, it’s clear that many people feel companies are not playing fair, highlighting an ongoing public dis-ease with business. This underlines the importance of fairness to individuals and in society - but also raises a question about whether fairness is a core business...more
Renowned psychotherapist and broadcaster Philippa Perry joins journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer to discuss how to build emotionally intelligent relationships with children that benefit you, them, and the wider world. Through the combination of case studies, her own experiences as a parent, and therapeutic insight gained from a career spanning over 20 years, Perry tackles the wider issues of what it actually means to be a parent, rather than getting bogged down in the little details. Sh...more
What is the negative news cycle doing to our politics and our mental health? An expert panel gathers to discuss how our media landscape can change for the better. Evidence shows that an overload of negative news stories affects our mental health and drives disengagement, with huge numbers of people deliberately avoiding the news. In a political climate defined by the rise of populism and “fake news”, we need to be able to trust our media to give us the full picture and empower us to act on the ...more
Professor Tim Lang and Helen Browning OBE join an expert panel to discuss the collective action required to transition to a global food system that ensures human health and environmental sustainability. EAT gathered 37 of the planet’s foremost experts who, for the first time ever, propose scientific targets for what constitutes a healthy diet from a sustainable food system – as published in the EAT-Lancet ‘Food in the Anthropocene’ report. To unpack what the EAT-Lancet framework might look lik...more
Renowned thinker Douglas Rushkoff argues that amidst increasing automation and alienation, humanity’s best path forward is to restore the social bonds that define our existence. Revealing how the intentional repression of humanity impacts diverse sectors of society, Rushkoff shows how money went from being a means of transaction to a means of extraction and how education transformed from the ideal of learning into an extension of occupational training. Digital age technologies have only amplifi...more
What does the rest of this century look like for our planet? Viral sensation David Wallace-Wells issues an urgent wake-up call about climate collapse, leading the way for bolder action before it’s too late. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 13th February 2019. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2019/02/a-story-of-the-future-of-earth
Professor James Fishkin, director of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, shows how a more deliberative politics can revive our modern democracies. Professor Fishkin’s research speaks to a recurring dilemma: listen to the people and get the angry voices of populism or rely on widely distrusted elites and get policies that seem out of touch with the public's concerns. Instead, there are methods for getting a representative and thoughtful public voice that really is worth...more
UCL scientist and expert in criminal behaviour Julia Shaw reveals the surprising science behind humanity’s dark side. Shaw uses the topics of serial murderers, terrorism, sexual assault, technology and the morals we live by day to day to determine the true basis of bad behaviour. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 7th February 2019. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2019/02/what-makes-people-do-bad-things
Innovation pioneer Charlie Leadbeater talks to winners of the 2019 Future Work Awards, a brand-new showcase for creative and inspiring models of work from around the world. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 6th February 2019. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2019/02/future-work-awards-2019
Amidst a growing mental health crisis, how can we help children recognise their innate dignity and self-worth? Educator Rosalind Wiseman, author of the ground-breaking book behind the film Mean Girls, shows how to navigate them. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 29th January 2019. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2019/01/creating-cultures-of-dignity
Author of 'Political Entrepreneurship', Josef Lentsch shows how innovative, civic-minded entrepreneurs can create new parties to produce positive political change. Managing Partner of the Innovation in Politics Institute, Josef Lentsch visits the RSA to tell their story, and show how they are taking on the populists by driving positive political change. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 24th January 2019. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2019...more
Bestselling author Steven Johnson explains how the science of deliberative decision-making can help us make better long-term choices - both individual and societal. We've heard a lot in recent years about the science of quick-thinking, intuitive choices. But what about more consequential decisions, the ones that affect our lives and societies for years, or centuries, to come? Our most powerful stories revolve around these kinds of deliberative decisions: where to live, whom to marry, what to be...more
Political analyst Anand Giridharadas reveals how the global elite's efforts to ‘change the world’ simply preserve an unjust status quo. A call to elites and citizens alike to build stronger institutions to make fairer progress. Taking us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, Giridharadas shows how the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can - except ways that threaten the social order and their position at the top. We see how they rebrand themselves as saviours ...more
How can better leadership enable us to face the challenges of the day? Pippa Malmgren and Chris Lewis explore new models of leadership fit for our ever-changing world. We live in a world that would have been hard to foresee even a few decades ago, and we need leadership that can keep pace with the changes. Challenges brought by technological, economic, social, and geopolitical shifts have exposed a crisis of leadership, and trust in our decision-makers has hit a low. Old models of successful le...more
Award-winning editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Farrah Storr explains how discomfort – the very thing modern culture teaches us to shirk from – can, in fact, lead us to personal and collective greatness. We inhabit a culture where children are routinely protected from struggle and failure, a time when our academic institutions incubate students from challenging ideas and where we bubble wrap ourselves in an online world where we need only ever bump up against the opinions and world views that si...more
Renowned political philosopher Michael Sandel delivers an exclusive address on the birth of a better, wiser politics for the 21st century. Decades of increasing inequality, globalisation, technological change, unfettered markets and technocratic politics have given rise to ever more polarisation and populist sentiment. How do we gain a better, wiser politics in the context of these 21st century challenges? Can the progressive parties reconcile the concerns of the disenfranchised and angry witho...more
As 2018 draws to a close, our panel of expert commentators, Bidisha, Hugo Rifkind, Catherine Mayer and Matthew Taylor, reflect on the political and cultural moments that have defined a tempestuous year. Alongside a Brexit process plagued by deadlocks, defeats, and resignations, the big moments of the year – from the Irish abortion referendum to Labour’s antisemitism row – have revealed deep divisions in our society and our politics. How can we understand the stories that have dominated this yea...more
Visionary designer Deanna Van Buren shows how innovative design approaches and systems thinking are helping to transform criminal justice. The Bicentenary Medal was instituted in 1954 to commemorate the founding of the RSA over two hundred years earlier, and has been awarded annually for outstanding contribution to the advancement of design in industry and society. In the RSA’s current account of design, the medal is awarded to an individual who has ‘used design to great effect as an instrument...more
Journalist, writer and critic John Harris joins RSA Public Services & Communities Director Ed Cox to host an evening of story-telling by ordinary people living extraordinary lives. Bringing a range of experience from across the UK, our narrators explore the ‘new giants’ facing 21st century Britain - inequality, isolation, intolerance, disempowerment and climate change. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 3rd December 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.o...more
Morag Myerscough RDI uses design to transform spaces into places, creating specific local responses to create community and build identity. The title ‘Royal Designer for Industry’ was introduced by the RSA in 1936 to promote the important contribution of design in manufacturing in industry, to encourage and reward outstanding practitioners, and to raise the profile of the design profession. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 29th November 2018. Discover more about this event h...more
The RSA’s education director Julian Astle talks to a group of educators about the importance of ‘mission’ to excellent schooling. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 27th November 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018/11/my-school-my-mission
Award-winning comedian and broadcaster Robin Ince unites comedy and science in this hilarious, informative and touching exploration of the human condition. Informed by deeply personal insights as well as interviews with some of the world's top comedians, neuroscientists and psychologists, Ince calls on us embrace the full breadth of our inner experience - no matter how strange we worry it may be! This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 26th November 2018. Discover more about this eve...more
In his Albert Medal lecture, Citizens UK founder Neil Jameson presents a roadmap for radical change, charting a course to major systemic change in politics and public life. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 20th November 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018/11/reweaving-the-fabric-of-society
Acclaimed social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores how we can create institutions and public spaces that foster viewpoint diversity and mutual understanding, and where people can civilly and constructively disagree. Just as the Enlightenment coffeehouse did in its day, the advent of social media has brought down barriers to participation in public discourse. More people than ever take part in public conversations about the big issues of the moment, and yet it seems we are becoming ever more ...more
Ted Howard, community wealth building visionary, shows how we might dramatically expand the vision and reality of democratic political economy. What kind of economy is suited for living inside a democracy? How might we redesign our local economies – from the community level up to the national – in order to produce more equitable, inclusive and sustainable outcomes that benefit the largest number of people? How do we create a shift from today’s extractive economy to a democratic political econom...more
Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks to C4 broadcaster Jon Snow about the qualities that make truly great leaders - those who summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others. In today’s polarized world, stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency, offering essential lessons for aspiring and established leaders from every field. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 19th November 2018. Discover m...more
A panel gathers in honour of David Marquand to reflect on the state of social democracy today, and examine how progressive politics can invigorate our society. Amidst the rise of populism and anti-democratic sentiment, it’s often easy to feel pessimistic about the survival prospects of liberal and social democratic values. But the threats to progress stand alongside great opportunities, and progressive ideals recognise the potential for good in people and in politics. This event was recorded l...more
What does joy look like? Designer Ingrid Fetell Lee exposes the power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness, and shows us how to find joy in the world around us. Our surroundings can have a profound effect on our wellbeing. Seeing flowers can improve our memories, looking at nature scenes reduces prisoner violence, and better sunlight increases our productivity at work – we can live happier, healthier lives if we open our eyes to the physical world and look for happiness in ordin...more
LBC broadcaster and online talk show sensation, James O’Brien, shows how to dismantle small minds, expose falsehoods and conquer prejudice. The age of politely agreeing to disagree is over. O’Brien has become a breakout media star, with a million people tuning in each week to hear him trumping countless guests and politicians into total silence with his inimitable interview technique. But how does he expose these inconsistencies, fallacies and faulty opinions, and can the skill be taught? This...more
The world is rapidly changing and the future is more unknown than ever – Jens Beckert and Richard Bronk explore the narratives and predictions we use to help navigate economic uncertainty. We all make decisions with an eye to the future; we form expectations, calculate likelihoods, and predict the outcomes of every action we take. But in a culture of restless innovation, we can’t always be sure that the future will resemble the past, and as the pace of change increases, we often have to make de...more
What can hidden histories teach us about multiracial society in Britain today? With author Emma Dabiri, footballer Eartha Pond and gal-dem deputy editor Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff. Emma’s status as a professional footballer, in one of Britain’s earliest women’s football matches in 1895 attended by thousands of paying spectators, is hugely significant. That she travelled the country, accompanied by widespread media coverage, demonstrates the profile she would have enjoyed in the 1890s. But while he...more
Sir Ian Cheshire welcomes an expert panel to discuss the interim findings of the RSA’s Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. Since the Commission launched last autumn, we’ve reviewed 1000 policy proposals, and hosted roundtables and discussions to explore the current policy domain. We’ve cycled right round the UK to meet people in their communities and workplaces, and set up separate long-term inquiries in the devolved nations and in three English counties to help us test ideas and underst...more
Migration has long been a high-profile political issue. A panel including HOPE Not Hate’s Rosie Carter gathers to discuss the state of the conversation and how and why public opinion has shifted over time. Research suggests that public attitudes towards immigration in the UK are less extreme than national headlines and social media would have us believe, but it remains a contentious subject. Migration has been a key pivot point in the ongoing Brexit debate, and the Windrush scandal and “hostile...more
Award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand explains how the clash between ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ cultures drives many of our most polarised and intractable global challenges. With rave reviews from heavyweights such as Steven Pinker, Robert Cialdini, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Carol Dweck, Professor Michele Gelfand’s ‘ground-breaking analysis’ of cultural divides ‘Rule Makers, Rule Breakers’ has been hailed as the manual for how we approach today’s most intractable challenges. This event was...more
Youth champion Ruth Ibegbuna; Sam Conniff Allende, chair, Generation Change; Dame Julia Cleverdon, founder, Step Up To Serve; and education activist Adam Ramgoolie on young people leading change. As the RSA launches its latest report ‘Teenagency: how young people are changing the world’, which reveals the continued gulf between public perceptions and the reality of young people’s experiences and aspirations, we explore how to give every young person, from every background, the opportunity to en...more
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon delivers a speech on the current state of play of the UK Government’s Brexit negotiations and the future of the UK and Europe. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 15th September 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018/10/keynote-address-by-first-minister-of-scotland
How can we tackle our ignorance about what the world is really like? Bobby Duffy, Director of Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, explains how we can get a handle on the facts in a ‘post-truth’ era. Evidence suggests that most of us are very wrong about what goes on in the world around us. Misinformation in the media is a growing worry, but it’s not all about fake news. No matter how impartial we think we are, we’re all biased towards information that confirms what we already believe – and ou...more
Child and adolescent mental health is in the headlines almost daily. How can we support young people’s wellbeing and build mentally healthy school communities? Join our expert panel as they share the latest insights. The issue was identified as one of the “burning injustices” of our time by the Prime Minister during her first Downing Street address. Whilst the problem has been rising up the political agenda in recent years, parents, carers and children alike have been demanding more and better ...more
Sociologist and best-selling author Eric Klinenberg shows how social infrastructure holds the key to health, happiness, safety and healing our divided society. Too often we take for granted and neglect our libraries, parks, markets, schools, playgrounds, gardens and communal spaces, but decades of research now show that these places can have an extraordinary effect on our personal and collective wellbeing. Why? Because wherever people cross paths and linger, wherever we gather informally, strik...more
Urban designer Don Carter explores routes to recovery and revitalisation for post-industrial cities and communities. His newest book is Remaking Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe, documenting ten case studies and common themes from the international Remaking Cities Congress he co-chaired in Pittsburgh. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 20th September 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018/10/remaking-post-indu...more
To mark 50 years of the International Baccalaureate, our panel asks: what kind of education do we need now to enable young people to flourish the 21st century? With Anthony Seldon, David Willetts and Naomi Climer. The International Baccalaureate is today offered by 4,871 schools across the world, to nearly 160,000 students each year through four different programmes. In the UK it is offered by 140 schools, independent, state and international. IB’s courses encourage students to become active, c...more
To celebrate the launch of the 2018/19 Student Design Awards, Cat Drew, director at Uscreates, calls on service designers to question systemic issues of power and culture. Uscreates is a service design agency specialising in health and wellbeing where Cat leads work for local and national government around citizen-led innovation and place-based change. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 25th September 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018...more
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency will speak about the damaging consequences of climate change and the need for urgent action to protect and improve the environment. Extreme weather, increasing temperatures and sea level rise are all now a scientifically proven reality. Climate change is simply the biggest issue there is, and we should be alarmed. But there is still time to do something about it if we act fast. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 24th Sep...more
Journalist and author Ian Kearns warns of the dangers faced by a European Union on the brink of collapse – and issues a call to action to defend peace and progress in Europe. The momentous Brexit vote has thrown the future of the EU into doubt, and the rise of terrorism, the refugee crisis, growing Euroscepticism, and threats from both East and West have cast a shadow over Europe. Warnings over these issues have often been labelled as scaremongering; however, what if the real threat to Europe c...more
Afua Hirsch and Matthew Taylor discuss Britain's current identity crisis at Wilderness Festival. Britain is a nation experiencing an identity crisis – populist movements attempt to draw us back to a nostalgic vision of homogenous, white Britain, whilst demographic changes see our cities more diverse and multi-dimensional than ever. How do we tackle issues like racism, identity and belonging against this backdrop, and are so-called ‘colour-blind’ liberals part of the problem? Barrister, broadcas...more
Academic and writer Danny Dorling argues that Britain has finally reached peak inequality, and immediate action is needed to defuse Britain’s ticking time bomb. The chasm between rich and poor has had dire implications for our health, housing, education, demography, and politics. Today more than 99% are losing out. So how do we become more equal this time? And without a full-blown civil war? This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 19th July 2018. Discover more about this event here...more
Political insider Tom Baldwin shares worrying insights from behind the curtain of power, and warns that we are in danger of pressing ‘delete’ on liberal democracy altogether. Having interviewed everyone from Tony Blair to Michael Gove, top journalists to Russian bloggers, and tech giant execs to online activists, Tom describes a vicious battle for control of the news agenda, at the expense of public trust and the value of truth. He visits the RSA to show how technological change has hollowed ou...more
As the RSA launches its new Future Work Centre, an expert panel considers how we can harness new technologies to create a better world of work. Will technologies like AI and robotics exacerbate economic inequality, deepen geographic divisions and entrench discrimination in the workplace? Or can they be wielded to create a better world of work – one that is more humane, productive and purposeful? And, to the extent that automation does occur, what measures can be taken to mitigate its risks and ...more
Political failure is a failure of the imagination. Journalist and author George Monbiot joins us to tell the new political story we’ve been missing. A toxic ideology rules the world – of extreme competition and individualism. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better world. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 5th July 2018. Discover more a...more
In his annual RSA Chief Executive’s Lecture Matthew Taylor makes a case for radical reform of our political and policymaking systems in the face of a growing crisis of liberal democracy. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 2nd July 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018/07/what-democracy-needs-now
Clive Grinyer, past RSA Student Design Awards winner and RSA Design Advisor delivers the keynote address at the 2018 SDA winners ceremony. The RSA Student Design Awards challenge emerging designers to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic issues through design thinking. Our goal is to empower a generation of savvy, employable designers who understand the potential of design to benefit society, and we do this by running an annual Awards programme that challenges students and recent ...more
The winners of the UK’s most prestigious awards for political writing are revealed, celebrating the best of this year’s books, journalism and innovative reporting on social issues. Each year, The Orwell Prize awards prizes for the writing and journalism which comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’. Prizes are awarded in three categories: for books, for journalism (commentary and reportage) and The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils, which...more
One year on from the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower, a panel gathers to reflect on what it exposed about the social and economic state of the nation, and how to secure safety and justice for everyone. In an area home to some of the country’s richest and poorest people side by side, where average incomes can drop ten times across a street, Grenfell has come to be seen as a microcosm not just of the broken housing market, but of how poverty and voicelessness meet to compound inequality. The n...more
Creativity guru and founder of Free Range Studios, Jonah Sachs argues that ‘safe thinking’ ultimately causes failure, and shows how we can unleash our boldness and creativity to tackle systemic challenges. Sachs draws on cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to uncover the specific mental habits that account for the success of those who break the mould. And he reveals how, by embracing a handful of simple brain-hacks and cognitive tools, we can all harness the power of the unsafe thinkers. ...more
Internationally acclaimed social entrepreneur Hilary Cottam shows how we can remake the relationships between us, and revolutionise the welfare state. Sharing her vision at the RSA, Hilary Cottam is joined in conversation by award-winning journalist Gary Younge to explore the principles behind this radically new approach, the design process that makes the work possible and the challenges of transition. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 7th June 2018. Discover more about this ...more
One of the UK’s leading political scientists, David Runciman, argues that democracy is collapsing before our very eyes. But what - if anything - should replace it? Democracy has died hundreds of times, all over the world. We think we know what this looks like: chaos descends, and the military arrives to restore order until the people can be trusted again. But perhaps we are focusing on the wrong threats. Until very recently, most citizens of Western democracies would have imagined that the end...more
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett follow up their seminal work The Spirit Level with new insights into how inequality impacts us as individuals. Arguing that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity produce much higher levels of wellbeing than those based on excessive individualism, competitiveness and social aggression, The Inner Level sheds important new light into how we should organise the way we live together. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 5...more
If not the EU, then what? Mike Kenny and Nick Pearce explore the idea of the ‘Anglosphere’ as a forgotten factor in the decision to leave the EU. Amidst the ongoing Brexit negotiations, a question mark looms over Britain’s future place in the world. The wish for a post-Brexit ‘global Britain’ has driven the idea of an alliance between Britain and its old Commonwealth colonies to resurface, based on a belief in a special bond shared by English-speaking peoples across the world. This event was r...more
Founder and former CEO of award-winning marketing agency Livity, Sam Conniff Allende re-purposes the innovative strategies of Golden Age pirates for 21st century would-be disruptors. How can we create radical change within an old-fashioned system, and in the face of unprecedented change and uncertainty? We must break and then re-make the rules – just like pirates did before us. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 24th May 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.t...more
Why should schools be interested in the arts, and how should we be looking to understand their impact? With Global Teacher Prize winner Andria Zafirakou. The RSA, together with the Education Endowment Foundation, is currently investigating the difference made by cultural learning to pupils’ academic achievement and character development. But what else do the arts offer schools and their students? How can we get better at understanding those benefits and ensure that evidence of what works makes ...more
Trust in politics is dwindling, and authoritarian populists are seizing power around the globe. Renowned academic and author Yascha Mounk argues for radical political reforms that will benefit the many, not the few. Mounk identifies three key drivers of voters’ discontent: stagnating living standards, fears of multiethnic democracy, and the rise of social media. To reverse the march against liberal democracy, he argues that politicians must act now to create radical reforms in these three areas...more
Is modern work actually productive, or just an end in itself? 'The most influential anthropologist in the world', David Graeber, explores how ‘meaningless’ jobs have become so widespread, and what we can do about it. In doing so, he looks at how we value work, and how, rather than being productive, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursda...more
Leading professor of psychiatry Edward Bullmore introduces breakthrough new science on the link between depression and inflammation of the body and brain. Going beyond the clinic and the lab, Professor Bullmore presents a whole new way of looking at how mind, brain and body all work together in a sometimes misguided effort to help us survive in a hostile world. Offering insights into the story of Western medicine, he shows how we have got it wrong as well as right in the past, and how we could ...more
Do modern economies reward the extractors – not the creators – of economic value? Leading economist Mariana Mazzucato urges us to rethink how we determine value in our economy. At the heart of the crisis in modern capitalism, she says, lies the blurred line between ‘taking’ and ‘making’; those who merely extract value are rewarded more highly than those who create it, generating perverse incentives and stifling a productive, healthy economy and society. In order to replace this broken system wi...more
In this Vote100 year, Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom asks: can we really say our democracy is as equal as the Suffragettes sought to make it? Andrea visits the RSA to share the lessons of her work addressing harassment and bullying in Westminster, to explore the challenges and opportunities for Parliament posed by the digital age, and to set out her views on what both say about our wider political culture. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 25th April 2018. Dis...more
Should you really be shocked by the Facebook revelations? Author and Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Jamie Bartlett argues that our fragile political system is being threatened by the digital revolution. We have given over much of our lives to shadowy powers behind a wall of code, all manipulated by a handful of Silicon Valley utopians, ad men, and venture capitalists. And, in light of recent data breach scandals around companies such as Cambridge Analytica, what does t...more
Academic, bestselling author and Star Trek scriptwriter Leonard Mlodinow gives us the tools to harness the power of elastic thinking in an endlessly dynamic world. How can we train our brains to be more comfortable when confronting change? How do our brains generate new ideas, and how can we nurture that process? Why can diversity and even discord be beneficial to our thought process? This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 12th April 2018. Discover more about this event here: http...more
The Secret Barrister, one of the UK’s leading law bloggers, shares insights from the frontline of our criminal justice system, and warns that it’s now close to breaking point. Few of us find ourselves thinking critically about our criminal justice system; considering how and why we have this particular way of doing justice, or reflecting on the impact it has upon the hundreds of thousands of people – defendants, witnesses and victims – who pass through the system every year. But we should - bec...more
UK industry is at a defining moment as technological and political advancements influence the sector. We gather an expert panel to discuss how businesses can capitalise on the value of design in navigating change. Can the principles and processes of design be harnessed to ensure UK business remains on the front foot in a rapidly changing economic and policy landscape? This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 24th April 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org...more
Jennifer Palmieri, former Director of Communications for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – visits the RSA to issue an open invitation to all women to forge a new model of leadership. While wildly disappointed by the outcome of the election, Palmieri argues that the Clinton candidacy and all she experienced on the campaign trail --confusion, admiration, hate, love, acceptance, rejection-- can now open us all up to reimagining women in leadership roles. This event was recorded live at The ...more
How can we galvanise renewed political interest in environmental issues to drive bolder action? With Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of the Green Party. Thirty years on from the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988, and with thirty years to go to meet the Paris Agreement’s target of a carbon-neutral world by 2050, it’s a timely moment take stock of the current politics of climate change in the UK. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 27th March 2018. Di...more
Richard Sennett, one of the world's leading thinkers on the urban environment, traces the relationship between how cities are built and how people live in them. In describing how cities such as Paris, Barcelona and New York assumed their modern forms, Sennett explores the intimate relationship between the good built environment and the good life. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 15th March 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018/03/build...more
Daniel Coyle, New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, reveals the team-building skills behind some of the most effective organisations in the world. He examines the verbal and physical cues that bring people together, and determines specific strategies that encourage collaboration and build trust. And he offers cautionary tales of toxic cultures and advises how to reform them, above all demonstrating the extraordinary achievements that result when we know how to cooperate effectiv...more
Entrepreneur Laurence Kemball-Cook visits the RSA to discuss the role that design can play in building an economy and industry fit for the future. The off-grid energy and data business has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2009 and Laurence has built a wealth of experience in design technology, innovation, scaling, and reaching new markets. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 7th March 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018/03/design-...more
As the Citizens’ Economic Council launches its final report, we hear from participants and public figures including Andrew Haldane, Bank of England; Patricia Wharton, CEC member; Anand Menon, UK in a Changing Europe; and Gemma Tetlow, Financial Times. The programme travelled across the UK, and listened to groups that included steelworkers, students and LGBT community members, all calling for change as they shared their lived experiences of the British economy. The Citizens’ Economic Council ros...more
In his first major speech, the new Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt Hon David Gauke MP, will outline his view on the future of prisons and rehabilitation. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 6th March 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2018/03/prisons---david-gauke
Shadow Attorney General, Shami Chakrabarti, argues that gender injustice is the greatest human rights abuse on the planet, and proposes a new way forward. From the disparity in the number of births to issues of schooling, work, ownership, faith, political representation and international diplomacy, Chakrabarti will outline what needs fixing and make clear, inspiring proposals about what we do next, putting women's rights at the centre of the progressive political agenda. This event was recorde...more
Award-winning architect Alison Brooks speaks about architects’ duties to respond to the social, cultural and physical context in their work. Pioneering architect Alison Brooks believes in the transformative social role of architecture, and has led new design thinking, in particular on housing and urban design. Committed to design responsive to people and place, Alison creates environments that are at the very heart of inclusive cities and communities. This event was recorded live at The RSA on...more
The challenges we face today are formidable. But, argues influential global thinker Steven Pinker, our problems are solvable. What we need now is an Enlightenment recharged for the 21st century. Pinker argues that we must recognise and celebrate the remarkable gains that have been made in every measure of human wellbeing. If you follow trendlines rather than headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer and more prosperous - not just in the West, but worldwide. Th...more
How can learning be strengthened to meet the demands of the 21st century? RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor explores how we create an environment of active learning and increase opportunities for development and fulfilment. Lifelong learning has never been more crucial. We face the challenge of a workplace which is transforming rapidly while technology is driving massive economic and social changes. We are living longer, in more diverse communities and connected on a global scale – understandi...more
A powerful movement is growing in force – but where will it go next? The ‘Weinstein effect’ has seen revelations of pervasive sexual assault and exploitation come to light across the world, sparking the #MeToo and TIME’S UP campaigns aimed at giving women a voice in tackling systemic injustice. Panel: Laura Bates, bestselling author and founder of the Everyday Sexism project; Helen Pankhurst, author and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst; Ayesha Hazarika, Political Commentator and Comedian and S...more
Why are we still struggling to get disadvantaged students into university? An expert panel featuring Alan Rusbridger, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, gathers to discuss how to make education fairer. Despite efforts by universities and schools across the country, the gap between richer and poorer students stubbornly persists; from attainment in school to university application and acceptance. Educational and socioeconomic disadvantage disproportionately affects certain ethnic minority groups, a...more
Timothy Morton, hailed as the 'philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene', invites us to a revolution in the way we understand our place in the world. In his new work, Morton confronts the information-dump fatigue of the digital age, by offering no ecological 'facts' but instead a radically invigorated and liberating approach to understanding ourselves, our interconnectedness with each other and the biosphere that sustains us. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 29th January 2018. ...more
Bestselling author and RSA Animate sensation Dan Pink reveals the ideal ‘when’ for every decision. Timing is everything- but how much do we know about timing itself? Our lives are a never-ending stream of “when” decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 25th January 2018. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/201...more
Bestselling author Johann Hari explains why everything we’ve been told about depression and anxiety is wrong, and how we must drastically change our way of living if we are to thrive. Hailed by Elton John, Emma Thompson, Russell Brand, Arianna Huffington, Alistair Campbell, Davina McCall and many more, Hari uses his social science training to investigate the causes of depression and anxiety – and discovers the cutting edge science that reveals the lack of evidence for the spontaneous chemical i...more
In an era of unprecedented change and polarizing politics, clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson offers a message of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom as an antidote to chaos. His advice ranges from putting your own house in order before criticising others, to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, rather than someone else today. Happiness is a futile goal, he says. Instead, we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defence against the suffering that is intrin...more
Geoff Mulgan, CEO of Nesta, explores how thinking collectively – whether in groups, or with the help of machines – is the answer to solving our biggest challenges. Figuring out the most effective ways to design and foster collective intelligence could be seen as our biggest current challenge, since there is little prospect of solving our other grand challenges of climate, health, prosperity, or war, without progress in how we think and act together. This event was recorded live at The RSA on T...more
An expert panel gathers to look back on a year of seismic events and world-changing headlines. Featuring Ian Leslie, commentator and author of Born Liars and Curiosity: Why Our Future Depends on it. 2017 has had its fair share of news – Donald Trump’s inauguration; a snap election and subsequent coalition in the UK; the triggering of Article 50 and ongoing Brexit negotiations; the horrific Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester arena terror attacks; the Grenfell Tower tragedy; the cultural ...more
Author and FT contributor Stefan Stern debunks some of the famous myths surrounding management and leadership. Using insights from psychology, leadership theory and organizational behaviour, he will provide a compelling and practical guide to avoid falling into the trap of management cliché, misinformation and prejudice. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 7th December 2017. Discover more about this event here: https://www.thersa.org/events/2017/12/what-people-get-wrong-about-b...more
65 million people are caught up in the global refugee crisis. CEO of the IRC David Miliband shows why we should care, and what we can do to make a difference. Taking us from war zones in the Middle East to the heart of Europe, he explores the current crisis and shows what can be done, not just by governments with the power to change policy but by citizens with the urge to change lives. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 6th December 2017. Discover more about this event here: ...more
Tristram Carfrae, incoming Master of the RDI Faculty will speak about the value of the human aspects of design in an automated world. Carfrae considers the positive value of design and its impact on all our lives. From creating a process, service or plan that improves efficiency to transforming the world around us through a better built environment. He argues that the importance of creative design and innovation and its inherent human instinct, hunch and emotion will be more valuable in the fut...more
Bestselling author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin identifies four main personality types, and shows how using this framework will change everyone’s lives for the better. During her lifelong investigation into human nature, explored most recently in her bestselling book Better Than Before, Rubin realised that by asking the seemingly dry question 'How do I respond to expectations?' we gain life changing self-knowledge. This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 30th November 2017. Discove...more
What has led to the rise of the ‘intangible economy’? And what impact is it having on levels of inequality and productivity? Economic analysts Stian Westlake and Jonathan Haskel investigate. For all sorts of businesses, from tech firms and pharma companies to coffee shops and gyms, the ability to deploy assets that one can neither see nor touch is increasingly the main source of long-term success. What does the future of an intangible world look like, and how can managers, investors, and policy...more
Eden Project chief executive Gordon Seabright joins an expert panel to share insights into the characteristics, challenges and rewards of leading a community enterprise. Do we still need visionary ‘hero’ leaders – rugged individualist entrepreneurs that can inspire people and struggle through adversity to pursue their dream? Or is leadership a more collective quality to be shared and nurtured among groups bound together by a strong mission? This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 21...more
Julian Astle, Daisy Christodoulou, Peter Hyman and David Laws consider how to reform education so that it prepares young people not just to write a good exam, but to live a good life. Schools need to be accountable to taxpayers and parents to ensure money is well spent and children well taught. But with the accountability system dominating so much of what England’s state funded schools now do, are we in danger of becoming so pre-occupied by inspection judgements and performance targets that we ...more
Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder and Head of Applied AI at DeepMind, considers what tech companies have got wrong, how to fix it, and how to ensure they contribute to greater economic and social justice. It’s no secret that technology companies are changing the world. But as technology plays a larger role in key social institutions we value and revere—from healthcare to electoral politics—guaranteeing a positive impact on society has become far more complex than many in the sector ever imagined. T...more
Professor David Harvey, the world’s leading expert on Marx, visits the RSA to outline the much-debated economist’s continuing relevance in 21st century economics and society. Marx’s ‘Capital’ is one of the most important texts of the modern era – it changed the destiny of countries, politics and people across the world – and continues to resonate today. But what are its key arguments, and how do they apply in a 21st century context? This event was recorded live at The RSA on Friday 10th Novemb...more
On the 75th anniversary of Beveridge’s transformative ‘five giants’ report, a panel of experts gather to review how far we’ve come, and have still to go. The ‘five giant evils’ of society were identified as Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness, and the modern-day NHS, national pension scheme, compulsory education, social housing and wide-ranging benefits were established in response to its recommendations. Whilst these so-called social securities transformed the lives of millions, pu...more
Award-winning author and public intellectual, Elif Shafak discusses populism, liberal values, and the provisional nature of democracy in the West. Drawing on her observations of the rise of populism and duality (a “them” and “us” mentality) in her native Turkey, Elif offers cautionary advice about the provisional nature of democracy in the west and the rise of populism – and how close we are to slipping back at any point – and asks the question; do writers and other cultural commentators have ...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 2nd November 2017 For well over a hundred years, social and cultural anthropologists have travelled the world, uncovering patterns and variations in how humans organize their lives and articulate their values. By weaving together theories and fieldwork examples from Beijing to the City of London, anthropologist Matthew Engelke shows why the study of anthropology still matters in today’s globalized world: not only because it allows us to under...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 1st November 2017 As the UK government makes preparations to leave the European Union, this independent Commission, funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is a unique and important opportunity to engage the voices of citizens, communities, businesses, academics and advocates in shaping the direction of food, farming and countryside policies. Against a backdrop of change and uncertainty, this Commission is intended to help secure the future of...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 31st October 2017 It’s now conventional wisdom to focus on the excesses of the ultra-rich top 1% who are hoarding income and wealth while incomes for the rest are stagnant. But the more important, and widening, gap in American society, argues Richard Reeves, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is between the upper middle class and everyone else. Reeves defines the upper middle class as those whose incomes are in the top 20 percent of A...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 30th October 2017 What fundamental values do human beings hold in common? As globalisation draws us together economically, are our values converging or diverging? Is the principle of human rights becoming a global ethic, or a vanishing preoccupation of the elite? These were some of the questions that led former leader of the Canadian Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff, to embark on a three-year, eight-nation journey in search of answers. A re...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 26th October 2017 Rising star and extremism expert Julia Ebner argues that far right and Islamist extremist narratives – ‘The West is at war with Islam’ and ‘Muslims are at war with the West’ - complement each other perfectly, making the two extremes rhetorical allies and building a spiralling torrent of hatred – what she calls ‘The Rage’. By looking at extremist movements both online and offline, Ebner shows how far right and Islamist extrem...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 19th October 2017 Nobel Prize-winning economist Jean Tirole argues that far from being the “dismal science”, economics is a “moral science”, and has the power to be a positive force for good in society. Jean Tirole has been described as one of the most influential economists of our time. On winning the Nobel Prize in 2014 he found himself regularly being called upon to comment on issues of the day, and this transformation from academic economi...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 18th October 2017 The 2017 Albert Medal is awarded posthumously to Robin Murray for pioneering work in social innovation. Robin Murray was a visionary social and economic thinker, whose life’s work was guided by a profound commitment to mutuality and cooperation. As an industrial and environmental economist, Murray was active and influential across several fields, from cooperatives to energy system innovation. He was deeply committed to a de...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 17th October 2017 Within a few short decades, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four giant corporations: Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google. But at what cost? Leading liberal journalist Franklin Foer argues that though these firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience that has a darker underside. Their c...more
'The rock star of neuroscience', David Eagleman teams up with composer Anthony Brandt to present an agenda-setting investigation into human creativity. Our relentless drive to create makes us unique among living creatures. How can we harness this instinct, and where is it taking us? We face global, ‘wicked’ challenges that require all our ingenuity to address. Luckily, as a species we have a seemingly unlimited capacity to generate solutions to our problems. For the full visual experience, wa...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Friday 6th October 2017 From government to business, banks to the media, it would seem that public trust in our institutions is at an all-time low. And yet this isn’t an age of distrust – far from it. Author of Who Can You Trust? Rachel Botsman is joined by Chief Economist at the Bank of England Andy Haldane to debate whether we are moving to a new era, in which we trust institutions less, but people and networks more. If this is so, what does it mea...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 28th September 2017 Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life, health and longevity and yet it is increasingly neglected in twenty-first-century society, with devastating consequences: every major disease in the developed world - Alzheimer's, cancer, obesity, diabetes - has very strong causal links to deficient sleep. And yet we’re sleeping less than ever – four out of five of us complain about disturbed or inadequate sleep, and n...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 27th September 2017 The world is facing urgent challenges – and design thinking can help us tackle them. Sue Siddall is a partner at leading design company IDEO, where she has over 20 years’ strategy experience in human-centred design and innovation; designing for behaviour change; and the role of design thinking and public private partnership in tackling systemic issues, such as climate change. To celebrate the launch of the 2017/18 RSA Stude...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 21st September 2017 Royal & Derngate, Northampton, Lyric Theatre Belfast, The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and The RSA present 'The United Kingdom and Europe: Nations on the World Stage' a symposium introduced by Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England. As a partnership of leading theatres in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales embarks on an epic cycle of new play commissions which will explo...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 21st September 2017 Every time we queue up for petrol we empower the world’s most coercive, oppressive and dangerous regimes. But what can we do about it? ‘It’s all about oil’ may be the clarion cry of undergraduates worldwide, but the reality is deeper and darker than any half-baked conspiracy theories. ISIS, al Qaeda, Putin, Assad, Saddam, Gaddafi, the Ayatollahs - most of our biggest threats and crises come from oil states. Chair of Philo...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 20th September 2017 Glenn Greenwald is the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist who worked with Edward Snowden to uncover secret global surveillance programmes undertaken by the US and the UK. His partner, David Miranda, is a journalist and the first LGBTQ member of the Rio City Council. In this special RSA event, Greenwald and Miranda discuss power and accountability, surveillance and privacy, Trump and fake news, and the role of journalism in gi...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 14th September 2017 A decade after the global financial crisis, deep scars remain. Despite recent data signalling a closing of the income inequality gap between the highest and lowest earners, this has been accompanied by mounting economic insecurity, wage stagnation and – particularly since Brexit – rising inflation. The shock of the financial crisis might have been weathered by buoyant employment, particularly at the low end of the labour ma...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 14th September 2017 Robert Peston, who broke the story of Northern Rock’s emergency funding appeal to the Bank of England, and covered at close-hand the ensuing run on the bank, its eventual collapse, and the global crash that followed, reflects back on fast-moving events of the time, and the role of the key actors – from politicians, to bankers, to regulators - and traces the further reaching after-effects of the crash. Discover more about t...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 11th September 2017 As UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling was involved at the highest levels from the outset of the financial crisis, through the heart of the storm, and played a leading role in restoring stability to global financial markets. 10 years on from the collapse of the Northern Rock bank, an early signal of the global crash to come, he reflects on what we have and haven’t learned from the crisis, how vulnerable we remain...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Friday 8th September 2017 Commissioned by the Prime Minister to undertake an independent review in 2016, last November David published his interim findings alongside an in-depth analysis which identified some of the stages in the CJS at which disproportionality is most pronounced. Among other notable points, the analysis evidenced that black men and women are sentenced more harshly than white men and women for committing the same type of crime. Having ...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 13th July 2017 In May this year, James Williams, a former Google employee and doctoral candidate researching design ethics at Oxford University, won the inaugural US$100,000 Nine Dots Prize. James’ winning piece argued that digital technologies privilege our impulses over our intentions, and are gradually diminishing our ability to engage with the issues we most care about. In this event – his first public event since winning the prize - he wi...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 11th July 2017 Forget what you thought polls could tell you – our Google searches and other online behaviour reveal our true selves. Welcome to the biggest and most accurate dataset in human history. Harvard-trained economist and former Google data scientist, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s analysis of our digital footprint reveals that much of what we think we know about ourselves is simply wrong. The reason is simple – we all lie – to our doctors,...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 11th July 2017 How do we build a future that doesn’t leave humans behind? How do we need to respond – as individuals, communities, companies, institutions – to harness technological progress the benefit of the many, not just the few? Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee's bestselling 2014 book The Second Machine Age had widespread influence on the global debate around how technological progress is transforming the way we live and work. Their new...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 4th July 2017 Access to a hands-on approach to learning – designing, creating, exploring, experimenting, ‘tinkering’ - can have transformational impact. So, how can we create more opportunities for more people to learn through making? To celebrate the long history of collaboration between the RSA and the Comino Foundation, a distinguished panel of designers, makers and educationalists gather to explore the power of making, and to discuss why a...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 3rd July 2017 The Rt Hon David Lammy MP’s pioneering review of racial disparity in the criminal justice system is exposing levels of potential bias that are cause for serious concerns. The review’s interim findings, published last November, came with in-depth analysis to help identify the stages of the system at which disproportionality is most pronounced. It also evidenced that black men and women continue to be sentenced more harshly than whi...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 29th June 2017 We want to believe that there are some things we would never do. We want to believe that there are others we always would. But how can we be sure? Why do human beings hurt other human beings – and what can we do about it? The celebrated human rights barrister and researcher Dexter Dias QC has identified ten ‘types’ of human behaviour; ten deeply ingrained evolutionary drives, which provide tools for decoding the best and worst ...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 22nd June 2017 On the 23rd June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU – arguably one of the most unexpected and momentous decisions ever taken by the electorate. The result sparked the resignation of a sitting Prime Minister, a renewed Scottish independence debate, a controversial legal challenge, a snap general election, the ‘regrexit’ phenomenon, and in an ironic twist, the person charged with steering the nation through the withdrawal initiall...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 21st June 2017 Join us in celebrating the 2017 Awards and the power of design to make a positive social impact – this is a chance to meet the 2017 RSA Student Design Awards winners, participants and collaborators and hear about their work. Keynote speech by David Constantine, past RSA Student Design Awards winner and Founder Director of Motivation, a charity which initiates self-sustaining projects to enhance the quality of life of people wit...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 15th June 2017 How can we champion truth in a world of lies and ‘alternative facts’? The Brexit vote; Donald Trump’s victory; the rejection of climate change science; the vilification of immigrants; many of the huge political issues of recent years have been based on the power to evoke feelings and not facts. Renowned journalist Matthew d’Ancona distinguishes post-truth from a long tradition of political lies, exaggeration and spin. For D’Anco...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Monday 12th June 2017 What does it take for an organisation to truly live its values, and crucially - to sustain them over the long-term? It’s a recognizable feature of modern-day working life to many of us: the company mission statement is brandished from the website to the office walls, but day-to-day behaviours fall far short of the stated ideals – so far often as to feel downright hypocritical. Is it time to call this all out as business BS? Or is...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 8th June 2017 How can we effect real change in the world? Is there a tried and tested method we can rely on that harnesses the best of both academia and practical learnings from the field? Duncan Green is one of the world's experts on change and international development, and he brings together the best research from a range of academic disciplines and the evolving practical understanding of activists to explore the topic of social and politic...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 1st June 2017 Many of us believe our capacity to reason helps us to acquire knowledge and make better decisions - but what if it has an entirely different purpose? Cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier and his colleague Dan Sperber have made waves with the surprising results of years of research – that our power to reason has nothing to do with accuracy or truth-seeking. Mercier visits the RSA to present their astounding thesis: that the essential ...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 25th May 2017 If the preliminary polling is accurate, Jeremy Corbyn will be leading Labour to its biggest defeat since 1935, and Theresa May’s gamble for a firmer handle in Brexit negotiations will have paid off. Whilst the left is riven by ideological crisis, the Conservatives have seen off the populist far-right challengers and absorbed the excess. But does anyone outside the Westminster bubble really care about the minutiae? Life continues ...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 11th May 2017 We've had 'Sharing Cities' and 'Smart Cities' - what's next for the evolution of the city? Modern cities are having to face up to a whole host of wicked problems like demographic change, inequality, housing shortages, homelessness, environmental degradation and access to public services. The RSA envisions Smart Cities evolving into ‘Networked Cities’, re-imagining the use of technology to emphasise a human-centred approach to pro...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 16th May 2017. Under the right conditions, small simple actions can produce large complex effects. Pioneering lawyer and activist for women’s rights Catharine A. MacKinnon argues that seemingly minor interventions in the legal realm can have a butterfly effect that generates major social and cultural transformations. Catharine MacKinnon is a pioneer of legal theory and practice, a groundbreaking activist for women’s rights, and one of feminism’...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 11th May 2017 We’re living in troubled times. Many democratic societies are experiencing a crisis of faith. People are making clear their frustration with supposedly representative governments, and yet feel powerless to effect change. Populists are capitalising on this disconnection and discontent. What can we do to fix democracy, get our voices heard and create a better society? The answer, argues leading academic, civic entrepreneur and publ...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Tuesday 9th May 2017 The world of work is changing fast. Globalization, de-industrialisation, automation - all have had a disruptive effect on traditional jobs and working practices in the UK in recent decades. With this disruption comes opportunity, no doubt, but also insecurity and anxiety. The Brexit ‘leave’ vote was particularly high in areas of poverty, low skills and lack of opportunity, and many interpreted this as a signal of anger and frustrat...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 4th May 2017 The traditional liberal democracies of the West are in decline, and divisive populist sentiment is on the rise. When faced with global instability and economic uncertainty, it is tempting for states to react by closing borders, hoarding wealth and solidifying power, and for citizens to look upon one another with suspicion, incomprehension and mistrust. Former Economist editor-in-chief Bill Emmott explains that we have seen this ph...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Wednesday 26th April 2017 Over the last year, the RSA has been working in collaboration with ECIS, on a project looking at how the skills and expertise of different players within a city can be mobilised to best support the needs of refugee young people. In the context of uncertainty, budget cuts and limited resources, how can a city act pragmatically for refugee young people through collaboration and innovation? Discover more about this event here: h...more
This event was recorded live at The RSA on Thursday 27th April 2017 With the failure of successive governments to tackle challenges ranging from climate change and terrorism, to growing inequality and far-right extremism, we have seen a sharp decline in trust and confidence in politics. The result? The rise of anti-politics, anti-expert, anti-system politicians, of which Donald Trump is just one example. Is there a way of saving democracy from its own failures? Leading social philosopher and fo...more
In the first episode of RSA Radio’s 'Work Shift' series on the changing nature of work Matthew Taylor is joined by: Michael A. Osborne of Oxford University, who’s estimated up to 47% of US jobs could be automated, Ryan Avent from The Economist and author of the recent book 'The Wealth of Humans: work and its absence in the 21st century' and Judy Wajcman, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. Her recent book 'Pressed for Time: the acceleration of life in digital capitalism' ex...more
Can the cold logic of engineering be applied to the quest for happiness? Mo Gawdat is Chief Business Officer at [X], an elite team of engineers that comprise Google's futuristic dream factory. Applying his superior skills of logic and problem solving to the issue of happiness, in 2011 he proposed an algorithm based on an understanding of how the brain takes in and processes joy and sadness. He essentially ‘solved’ for happy. Thirteen years later, Mo's algorithm would be put to the ultimate test...more
Even though women are half the workforce, they still represent only eighteen per cent of the highest level leaders. The reasons are obvious: just as women reach middle management they are also starting families. Mounting responsibilities at work and home leave them with no bandwidth to do what will most lead to their success. Chief Leadership Officer of Levo and one of Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women Tiffany Dufu has been hailed as the heir apparent to Sheryl Sandberg. Offering new ...more
Game theory was the popular model for international relations during the Cold War, but the 21st century sees us playing on a drastically different landscape. Anne-Marie Slaughter — one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers from 2009 to 2012, and the first woman to serve as director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning— visits the RSA to reveal how network theory provides a new set of strategies for the post–Cold War world. While chessboard-style competitive relationships sti...more
Writer and academic Jeremy Myerson explores how social challenges can catalyse design-led innovation in industry. Rather than seeing such issues as ageing populations, growing healthcare needs or climate change as a problem or a crisis, designers can reframe social challenges as creative opportunities for change.
Jonathan F. P. Rose - the man who “repairs the fabric of cities” - suggests a five-pronged model for how to design and reshape our cities with the goal of equalising their landscape of opportunity. Drawing from the musical concept of “temperament” as a way to achieve harmony, Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilisation and nature....more
Acclaimed cognitive scientist Steven Sloman visits the RSA to argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it.
What are the political and moral fault-lines that divide Brexit Britain — and how can we achieve a new settlement that works for everyone? Several decades of greater economic and cultural openness in the West have not benefited all our citizens. Founding editor of Prospect magazine, David Goodhart argues that among those who have been left behind, a populist politics of culture and identity has successfully challenged the traditional politics of Left and Right. He suggests that a new division ...more
Kate Raworth, renegade economist and author of Doughnut Economics, visits the RSA to argue that’s it’s time to start thinking like a 21st century economist. Drawing on insights from emergent schools of thought – including complexity, ecological, feminist, behavioural and institutional economics – she argues that today’s economies are divisive and degenerative by default, and must become distributive and regenerative by design. It’s time for humanity’s portrait at the heart of economic theory to...more
We are anxious to succeed but terrified of failing. Matthew Taylor interviews RSA fellow Moses Sangobiyi about his single minded attempts to break into professional American Football, what he learnt from falling short and why he’s on a mission to let people know that it’s ok to fail. Subscribe to “RSA Radio” to get future podcasts like this from The RSA. Music: Lobo Loco - Mountain Creek
Exciting new thinker Rutger Bregman visits the RSA to argue that the real crisis of our times is not that we don’t have it good, or even that we might be worse off in the near future - it’s that we don’t have the imagination to come up with anything better. Having already sparked a movement across the Netherlands, where 20 municipalities are now putting basic income into action, Rutger’s work inspires a firm belief that the most vital ingredient for political change is the conviction that ther...more
The prison reform agenda in the UK has reached a critical stage of development with new legislation expected in the coming months and the expansion of the 'Reform Prisons' model which gives governors greater freedoms. Nils Öberg will join Rachel O'Brien, who has led the RSA's work on prisons, to share his experience in prisons and probation - the results, challenges and what the reform agenda in the UK can learn from this.
The Inclusive Growth Commission was set up in April 2016 to identify practical ways to make inclusive growth a reality. Chaired by Stephanie Flanders, former economics editor of the BBC and Chief Strategist (UK and Europe) for J P Morgan, the Commission is calling on all leaders – in business, civil society, public service and government – to make inclusive growth our working definition of economic success. The UK government has set out an ambitious goal to create an economy that works for ever...more
Money makes the world go round: but what is it really? And how is it produced? Above all, who controls its production, and in whose interests? Money is never a neutral medium of exchange. Nor are bankers simply go-betweens for savers and borrowers. How can democracies reclaim control over money production? Leading political economist Ann Pettifor visits the RSA to explain the money system – history’s most misunderstood invention. She lays out a blueprint for how we can subordinate the out-of-c...more
Spiritual and religious spaces are fundamental features of a place, signifying the value and importance of faith and connection at the heart of a community. In a changing global context, the design, status and use of places of worship evolves to reflect the diverse needs of a wider public. Faith spaces are reimagined to foster a culture of mutuality and engagement, facilitating the growth of social capital. John McAslan CBE and Aidan Potter of John McAslan + Partners are joined by Sophia de So...more
The pace of modern life is accelerating, and the self-help shelves are groaning with advice on how to keep up – and stay positive in the process. But the demands of life in the fast lane come at a price: anxiety, fatigue and depression are at an all-time high, and our social interactions have become increasingly self-serving and opportunistic. Leading Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra. The secret to a happier li...more
I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2016, was nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress & Best Director and won Outstanding British Film at the 2017 BAFTA Awards. Following the screening, director Ken Loach discusses the pressing social issues highlighted in his film and how we can move towards a more equal platform from which people can manage their lives.
Politics fractures when policy fails - as events of the last year have shown. Nine years on from the global financial crisis, policymakers are still struggling to find convincing answers to the economic problems it exposed. At the same time, the world faces many significant and complex challenges, from climate change to the problems of managing chronic health conditions, to the challenges of ageing populations, to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. If innovation is part of the answe...more
International bestseller and so-called ‘Darwin of technology’ Steven Johnson argues that the pursuit of novelty and wonder has always been a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. He finds that throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused. In describing a vivid history of innovation, Johnson explains how popular entertainment - games, cinema, music, food and fashion – have played a crucial ro...more
Self-employment is once again on the rise. The number of people working for themselves has grown by 40 percent since 2000, and is set to reach a record 5 million by the end of the decade.A debate rages as to whether this is a trend to be lauded or lamented. While some hold that the self-employed are just another legion in a growing army of precariat workers, others hail an entrepreneurial renaissance among spirited self-starters. Join us as we launch The Entrepreneurial Audit, a new RSA report t...more
People in the West tend to think of corruption as a problem unique to the lower-income countries. But are we fooling ourselves? Development economist and co-founder of Transparency International, Laurence Cockroft and anti-corruption expert Anne-Christine Wegener have analysed the driving forces behind such cases, particularly the role of political finance, lobbying, the banking system and organised crime. In the course of their investigation, Cockroft and Wegener have uncovered why anti-corrupt...more
We are living in an age of anger: from American 'shooters' and ISIS to Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media. Renowned author and essayist Pankaj Mishra visits the RSA to discuss how and why we got to this point.
We are all aware that we are living longer – and for some of us, that’s a scary prospect, especially when we consider that it has been estimated that by 2030 there will be 2 million people aged over 65 without adult children to look after them. And 230,000 of those will be in need of more than 20 hours' care a week and yet will have no informal support. But, what if we lived longer AND with better health? Our expert panel explore what people might do differently in the future to become a healthy...more
We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process. It’s raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies in amongst the facts. But how can we know if we are being sold mistruths? Neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin visits the RSA to help us sort the wheat from the digital chaff.
Could drones, and other robotics, provide an answer to some of the most persistent humanitarian and development challenges? Drones are just one example of a range of new frontier technologies that “tech for good” advocates claim as potentially paradigm-shifting for developing countries. However, even as sources of investment and knowledge-sharing increase, there remain obstacles and concerns – including issues around regulation, privacy and data protection, health and safety, and public understa...more
Schools are generally recognised as playing a crucial role in developing citizens of the future, helping to equip young people with the ability to debate and deliberate, to question, critique and understand differences in their communities. But with an already crowded curriculum, do we have to accept that the responsibility for citizenship education can’t – and indeed, shouldn’t - lie solely with schools?
Alex Evans of NYU’s Center on International Cooperation argues that today we have a ‘myth gap’. He visited the RSA to contend that in this time of global crisis and transition – mass migration, inequality, resource scarcity and climate change – it is only by finding new myths that we will navigate our way to a better future. It is stories, rather than facts and pie-charts, that have the power to animate us and bring us together to change the world.
Conflict, refugee and migration crises, an extraordinary US election race - and result, and post-Brexit-vote tumult for the UK and the EU - 2016 has been a year of exceptional, world-changing events. Join us at the RSA as our group of expert reviewers – historian and author of The Silk Roads Peter Frankopan; academic and cultural critic Sarah Churchwell and political scientist Matthew Goodwin - reflect on what has been a turbulent year in national and international political, social and cultural...more
In a world increasingly dominated by winner-take-all markets, good fortune and what may seem as trivial initial advantages often translate into guaranteed success over time. Despite this, false beliefs about luck and personal success persist, and can often shape individual and political choices in harmful ways. At the RSA, influential economist and New York Times columnist Robert Frank argues that it is vital that we gain a more accurate understanding of the role of chance if we are to create be...more
As a teacher in an inner-city school, Lucy Crehan was exasperated with ever-changing government policy claiming to be based on lessons from ‘top-performing’ education systems. She became curious about what was really going on in classrooms of the countries whose teenagers ranked top in the world in reading, maths and science. Lucy visits the RSA to document some of her journey, weaving together her experiences with research on policy, history, psychology and culture to offer extensive new insigh...more
Peter Tatchell is awarded the 2016 RSA Albert Medal for tireless campaigning on human rights and social equality. In his Albert Medal Lecture, Peter Tatchell will speak about the ecology of campaigning for social transformation. In less than 50 years, LGBT rights has gone from the margin to the mainstream. How was this transformation achieved? Peter Tatchell began his LGBT advocacy and activism half a century ago, combining both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary action to secure changes in p...more
The nature of work and employment is changing rapidly. In the face of an uncertain economic future, what steps do we need to take, and what new models do we need to build in order to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to engage in work that has meaning and value? Does an increase in the number of companies and organisations that are employee-owned offer a route to a more stable, sustainable and inclusive form of productivity and prosperity? Our speakers explore the relationship between emp...more
Economic issues are often moral issues. If you know where a person stands on the left-right spectrum, you can easily predict their preference for economic approaches like austerity or stimulus. One’s moral compass tends to dictate their response to even ‘factual’ matters like whether or not raising the minimum wage increases unemployment. What we believe influences what we perceive far more than we would like to admit to. Renowned social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that most of us stick u...more
It may be a post-pollster, post-pundit, post-truth landscape – but can we predict where the world goes from here? An extraordinary US presidential election campaign has resulted in an outcome that few could have predicted at its outset: Donald J Trump will become the 45th US President of the United States. The implications of this historic decision are, for now, highly unpredictable, and for many, deeply concerning, with many questions unresolved around the course of future US policy on the eco...more
At a time of low growth and increasing income inequality, innovation-led growth is more necessary than ever. But, just as it needs it most, has capitalism lost its ability to adapt, experiment and invent? Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy Fredrik Erixon and innovation strategist Bjorn Weigel argue that companies and policy makers are actually hindering innovation, and through research and case studies, including Uber and Apple, will reveal both the obstacles to ...more
We bring together representatives from civil society, thinktanks, and the media in a panel discussion to explore how we can improve the quality of public discussion about the economy – and, in doing so, change economics itself for the better.
The RSA's Vikki Heywood CBE joined the Bristol Distinguished Lecture Series. Listen back as she discusses her Chairmanship of the Warwick Commission 2015 “Enriching Britain: Culture Creativity and Growth” and examines the strengths of our creative nation in the new world order post Brexit. Watch the pre-address interview as Vikki Heywood answers selected questions: ow.ly/2wA630590R9 For more information about the Bristol Distinguished Address Series and how to attend, visit: www.uwe.ac.uk/bdas...more
Best-selling author and TED talk sensation Simon Sinek is fascinated by the people that make the greatest impact in their organisations, and in the world. He has discovered some remarkable patterns in how they think, act and communicate, and the environments in which people operate at their natural best. In his new book Together is Better Simon Sinek has distilled many of these insights into a series of inspiring reflections on relationships, trust, teamwork, and what it means to each play our ...more
Using research from neuroscience, psychology, social science, as well as captivating examples of real people doing extraordinary things, renowned ‘Undercover Economist’ Tim Harford explains that the human qualities we value: creativity, responsiveness, and resilience, are integral to the disorder, confusion, and disarray that produce them. Harford visits the RSA to help us understand why unexpected changes of plans, unfamiliar people, and unforeseen events can help generate new ideas and oppor...more
Ed Vaizey MP offers six lessons from six years as arts minister, and addresses future challenges and opportunities for cultural policy, and the role of the arts in society. Ed Vaizey was the UK’s longest serving culture minister, serving from 2010-2016 in senior government roles encompassing culture, communications and the digital economy. He remains a vocal champion for the UK’s arts and cultural industries. In the RSA Chairman’s lecture 2016, he reflects on his term of office and the lessons l...more
Academics Helen Margetts and Peter John explain how social media are now inextricably intertwined with the political behaviour of ordinary citizens. Margetts and John visit the RSA to show large-scale data and experimentation that explore how such dynamics inject turbulence into politics, which is increasingly characterized by instability, unpredictability and often unsustainability. These patterns of mobilization bring us shocks and surprises (from Jeremy Corbyn to Donald Trump) which tradition...more
Award-winning filmmaker Raoul Martinez visits the RSA to reflect on one of the most urgent questions of our time – are we really free? Informed by over a decade of research, Martinez will lift the veil on the mechanisms of control that pervade our lives, from the lottery of our birth to the consent-manufacturing influence of concentrated wealth and power. Tackling economics, philosophy, politics, criminology, psychology and environmentalism, it shows that the more we understand how the world sha...more
Depending on who you ask, our current generation of youngsters are either ‘snowflakes’ in need of greater resilience, or the product of the economic, political and social insecurity that has come to define our times, creating new pressures which have helped to drive up rates of mental distress. What implications does this have for policy making in the UK, and how can we deliver on government commitments to improve mental health care for children and young people? Join us to discuss these chall...more
Co-founder of n+1 magazine and one of the most highly acclaimed essayists in the US today, Mark Greif is one of the most exciting writers of his generation. His essays examine the vicissitudes of everyday life under twenty-first-century capitalism, and he repeatedly challenges us to rethink the world and demand something better. What is the right way to be and act given the many local and global challenges we face –is it possible to stay honest in dishonest times? Counter-intuitive and revelator...more
In her part-manual, part-manifesto “Feminist Fightclub”, journalist and critic Jessica Bennett brings together the personal stories of a group of women who met regularly in New York City to explore and confront the external (sexist) and internal (self-sabotaging) behaviors that continue to plague women in the workplace —as well as the system that perpetuates them. At the RSA, Jessica Bennett joins us for a special “in conversation” event to share these revealing workplace stats and stories. A l...more
What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? The world’s foremost expert on influence reveals the results of three decades of research. Thirty years in the making, Robert Cialdini’s new book Pre-Suasion is the eagerly awaited follow-up to his bestselling, genre-defining Influence. Cialdini’s latest research shows that the secret to persuasion doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered. He visits the RSA to show that the...more
With his AI project DeepMind, Demis Hassabis has said he is leading “an Apollo programme for the 21st century”. But how far can AI really take us? Demis Hassabisis the co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, a neuroscience-inspired AI company, acquired by Google in 2014. He is now Vice President of Engineering at Google DeepMind and leads their general AI efforts, including the development of AlphaGo, the first program to ever beat a professional player at the game of Go. In this special event at the ...more
The rapid pace of technological innovation has an enormous impact on the economy and society. Spreading the gains of technological progress calls for significant system change in education, work and wider learning, to ensure that everyone has access to the power, resources and opportunities to work, create, connect and learn. In his President’s Lecture for 2016, Simon Nelson will explore how increasing access to education, delivered online in a flexible way, can help towards addressing some of ...more
How can we support teachers to keep improving throughout their careers? What does the very best teacher training and professional development look like? And how do we ensure that it is designed for maximum impact on the education and life chances of those who need it most? At the RSA, our expert panel assess the rationale for, and likely impact and implications of, the new standards, and share their insights into designing and delivering cutting-edge professional development with the potential ...more
What does the revolution in work mean for us today? With an ever-increasing divide between the rich and the rest, the traditional solutions – improved education or wage subsidiaries, for example – will no longer work as they once did. In order to navigate our way across today’s rapidly transforming economic landscape, we must radically reassess the very idea of how, and why, we work. Join the Economist’s Ryan Avent at the RSA as he tackles the future of work, the state we’re currently in - and...more
What are the benefits and risks of the increasing scale and power of data assets controlled by governments and corporations? In a time of rapid advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, if we are to make better use of the vast quantities of data produced by new technologies - from gene sequencing to driverless cars – it’s crucial to mitigate the risks as well as embracing the advantages of Big Data. Roger Taylor, writer and chair of the Open Public Services Network at the RSA, ...more
In its recent ‘Five Year Forward View’, the NHS set out a bold new vision for its future. In the face of ever growing pressure on services, the report argues the need for large-scale transformation and new models of care if we are to maintain a sustainable and universal health service. What exactly are social movements, however, and what does it take to start one? How can innovative local ideas be scaled up? How can we measure whether this model really does make services more effective and effi...more
How can it be that more governments are wealthier than ever, and yet fewer citizens enjoy the benefits that such wealth can bring? “Citizens’ wealth” – creating an additional source of revenue by turning states into wealth-owners - is a long-established idea. And yet we are still to see this powerful tool used to its full potential effect, and in the service of ensuring the interests of its rightful beneficiaries – the people. At the RSA, political theorist Angela Cummine outlines what measure...more
The world is facing urgent challenges – and design can help us solve them. Carrie Bishop is a director at FutureGov, the digital and design company for public services, where she works on projects focused on using social technologies for better collaboration, open innovation and organisational change. To celebrate the launch of the 2016/17 Student Design Award briefs, Carrie shares her thoughts on why we need design now more than ever as a tool for tackling global problems.
Why do some policies succeed in bringing about widespread social change, but others founder? In his annual RSA Chief Executive’s Lecture, Matthew Taylor examines the relationship between policy-making and social change. What distinguishes successful policy changes - for example, the smoking ban - from other ideas that seemed to have everything in their favour at the outset, and yet ultimately failed to deliver? Is there a key to truly impactful policy creation and implementation? Or, to meet t...more
What is the next stage of human evolution? As the self-made gods of planet earth, which projects should we undertake, and how will we protect this fragile planet and humankind itself from our own destructive powers? We were delighted to welcome Yuval Noah Harari - bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – for his second much-anticipated RSA appearance. Where Sapiens was a wide-ranging exploration of humankind’s history, in his new work Homo Deus he envisions our future: a n...more
Former technology editor at Newsweek and co-producer and writer of HBO’s Silicon Valley, Dan Lyons spent many years reporting on the tech explosion. But when he joined one of the buzzy Boston start-ups that typify the industry, he ended up with a fascinating inside perspective. Lyons is one of the lone dissenting voices amongst the tech hype, and visits the RSA to reveal the dysfunctional culture that prevails in a world flush with money and devoid of experience. He provides a unique analysis o...more
As part of a series of Radio 4 programmes reflecting and examining the political and cultural landscape in Britain after the Brexit vote, Front Row will pick up from Today with a live broadcast in front of an audience at the RSA. Hosted by John Wilson, the discussion will feature leading creative figures, including actor and director Samuel West, novelists Val McDermid and Dreda Say Mitchell, TV producer Phil Redmond and designer Wayne Hemingway, to consider the artistic impact of the decision...more
Krista Tippett joins the RSA to explore the enduring question of what it is to be human, and how we can learn to live with greater, joy, compassion and wisdom, both individually and collectively. By weaving together insights from these conversations, she offers a distinctive, grounded and optimistic vision of 21st century humanity. The central challenges of our time, she argues - from definitions of life itself, to the meaning of community and family and identity, to our relationships to technol...more
What are the key current and future challenges facing the gambling industry – and for the politicians and regulators seeking to protect the consumer? As Philip Graf, Chair of the Gambling Commission, comes towards the end of his term, he reflects on the changing nature of the gambling industry and the challenges ahead for regulators.
Where now for civic engagement? In the wake of a shock referendum result, and a campaign that exposed deep social, economic and political divisions, it’s clear that we need a new approach to democratic engagement. A panel of experts including Women’s Equality Party co-founder Catherine Mayer and Compass’ Neal Lawson gather to explore what the ideal 21st century political party might look like.
How much of what we do is driven by the automatic and the unconscious? When should we bring conscious reasoning to bear? What kinds of tasks is consciousness good for? Nicholas Shea and Barry Smith present a new research project bringing together philosophy, psychology and neuroscience to explore the purpose of consciousness.
What will your 100-year life look like? Does the thought of working for 60 or 70 years fill you with dread? Or can you see the potential for a more stimulating future as a result of having so much extra time? Offsetting the excess of negative debate about longevity, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott take a fundamentally different approach - seeing long life an opportunity for a fundamental restructuring of finances and careers, and of relationships and leisure – in other words, for a redesign of li...more
The very near future presents a critical turning-point for the FE & Skills sector; many challenges and opportunities, not least of which are around funding, in addition to Area Reviews and the commitment to 3 million apprenticeship starts, invite a raft of questions about the future of further education and skills training. Join us to explore and re-imagine custom and practice within technical and professional education, a sector which continues to be critical to securing social and economic flo...more
Author and activist Ashton Applewhite uncovers the roots of ageism and shows how ageist myths and stereotypes cripple the way our brains and bodies function. It’s time, she argues, to expose these myths, and to create a world of age equality by making discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as any other kind.
The RSA launches the Citizens Economic Council, asking: can citizens really be economists, and what might the extent of their role and influence in shaping economic policy be?
What are young people’s opportunities today? Do their social and digital networks offer new routes to learning? What is the meaning of education in a digitally connected but fiercely competitive and individualised world? At the RSA, Professor Sonia Livingstone presents the results of her most recent fieldwork, based on the experiences of young teenagers growing up and learning in a digital world. In her study she explores youth values and prospects as well as tactics for facing the opportunities...more
Richard Clarke shares his journey from RSA Student Design Award winner to global head of advanced innovation at Nike, and explores the power of design in problem solving and shaping the future.
With the historic referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU impending, we look back on how the campaign has played out, look ahead to the likely result and post-vote fallout. Our panel of expert commentators assess the decisive issues in the remaining days before the vote, and look ahead to possible post-referendum landscape scenarios. If ‘remain’ carries the day, is the question of the UK’s relationship with Europe truly settled for at least a generation? If the result is close, will the cla...more
As we draw nearer to 23rd June and the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, we bring together Nick Clegg and Andrea Leadsom from either side of the debate, in a special conversation format. By allowing each advocate to make their case positively, and by seeking clarity on what really divides them – as well as where points of agreement may lie – we’ll aim to get closer to the heart of the European matter, and the historic decision the country now faces.
Why don’t money and friendship mix? Can money buy happiness? Why does money have such a hold on us? The surprising psychology of money reveals that our relationship with it is more complex than we might think. At the RSA, BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Claudia Hammond explores the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, biology and behavioral economics, and offers some simple yet effective advice that can help us improve our relationship with money.
It is time to reimagine how life is organised on Earth. We're accelerating into a future shaped less by countries and more by mega-cities; less by borders and more by connectivity. A world in which the most connected powers, and people, will win. Leading strategist Parag Khanna shows how the global connectivity revolution - in transport, infrastructure, communications - has upended the ‘geography is destiny’ mantra, and how connectivity, not sovereignty, has become the organising principle of 21...more
What does it mean to be a man today? Although there is still much work to do, there is a growing public awareness of the need to counter the negative stereotypes that have traditionally limited girls and women. But less is being done to question the accepted rules of masculinity. Join author Rebecca Asher and our panel at the RSA to explore where these problems come from, and what can be done to address them - for the benefit of us all.
Britain is currently enjoying something of a boom in enterprise and self-employment. Many of Europe’s ‘unicorns’ – new firms worth over $1 billion - call the UK home. But few of the greatest firms created in the last 30 years are British, as new American and Chinese start-ups dominate the global super-league of world-beaters. Is Britain losing its edge? And if so what needs to change?
The sharing economy has grown rapidly in the last 5 years, and is now popularized by big players such as Airbnb and Uber. But with growth, come growing pains. As the sector comes of age, what steps need to be taken now to unlock its full social potential and to ensure it remains an economic model that empowers not exploits? Rachel Botsman returns to the RSA to look back on the evolution of the sector; to consider where it's heading next – who will be the next breakout venture to be cited alongsi...more
What informs our views on crime? Why do myths prevail across the political spectrum? How can we begin to understand crime for what it is – as a risk that can be managed and, more importantly, reduced? In this talk at the RSA, policy adviser Tom Gash analyses how our obsession with universal rules to explain crime's causes can lead us to irreversible mistaken individual cases.
In this exclusive ‘in conversation’ event at the RSA, Adair Turner and John Kay will respond to each other’s work and to the sometimes contrasting, sometimes complementary conclusions and policy recommendations they arrive at – and tackle the key questions: What does ‘good’, socially useful finance look like? Is banking too important to be left just to bankers? Do we need to revisit our understanding of money and debt? Or should we stop treating finance as special and demand that a much simpler ...more
Can businesses have both endless growth and be fair and sustainable? Is it possible to conceive an economic model that’s not tainted by our current financial system? Economist Christian Felber introduces an international movement that’s aiming to radically reshape our future economy.
Writer and journalist Lynsey Hanley explores the idea of class in Britain today, examining how people are kept apart, and keep themselves apart, and the costs involved in the journey from ‘there’ to ‘here’.
Professor of Chinese history and philosophy Michael Puett draws from ancient teachings to help us challenge deeply-held assumptions about how to live our lives and follow a path of self-cultivation and engagement with the world. He invites us to re-examine the impact of Western philosophy on our lives and to "unlearn" many ideas that inform modern society.
Science journalist Helen Pearson reveals insights and from five birth cohort studies of over 70,000 people begun in 1940s Britain. These rich findings have been brought together for the first time and help form the basis of how we understand inequality and health today.
The Inclusive Growth Commission is an independent, impactful inquiry designed to understand and identify practical ways to make local economies across the UK more economically inclusive and prosperous. At this Commission Launch event, we heard from Lord O'Neill, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury; Stephanie Flanders, Commission Chair and Chief Market Strategist for the UK and Europe, JP Morgan Asset Management; Tony Travers, Professor of Government, London School of Economics and Cllr Claire K...more
How can engineering concepts help us make better decisions and create innovative solutions in a complex world? At the RSA, biomedical engineer and policy adviser Guru Madhavan reveals how the engineering toolkit can be useful in designing systems-based strategies and policies that could help in many areas of society, from easing traffic congestion to improving efficiency in health care.
Iris Bohnet, professor of public policy at Harvard University, demonstrates the tools we need to ‘move the needle’ on gender, from classrooms to boardrooms, and offers new research-based solutions for improving businesses, governments and people’s lives.
Is growing inequality a price worth paying for London’s continued economic success? As London’s economy continues to outpace the rest of the UK, so does the inequality gap. Is such inequality an inevitable by-product of the city’s growth, rewarding those who risk their capital to create employment, for example? Or, will it eventually derail the city’s upward progression, and push out those whom London relies on to keep it moving? Panel includes Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography, University...more
Who really drives transformation in society? And how do they do it? Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally R. Osberg and strategy guru Roger L. Martin set forth a bold new framework for social entrepreneurship, demonstrating how and why meaningful change actually happens in the world, and providing concrete lessons and a practical model for businesses, policymakers, civil society organisations, and individuals who seek to transform our world for good.
Whilst we strive for stronger personal relationships, to conquer our bad habits or to get ahead in our careers, we often get caught in negative emotional and behavioural patterns that prevent us from moving forward. Meanwhile, the demands of our culture increasingly make us even less able to perform at our best. But by becoming more aware of our own emotional nature, learning how to face our feelings and unhooking from our negative thoughts, we can begin to evaluate them and to change our actio...more
In 2015, Yanis Varoufakis became the world’s most prominent opponent of austerity when, as finance minister of Greece, he refused to accept the terms of the loan agreement dictated to his bankrupt country by the eurozone’s leaders. Since resigning his post he has become the figurehead of an international grassroots movement, joining together to put the ‘demos’ back into European democracy. At the RSA, in conversation with Matthew Taylor, Yanis Varoufakis will explore the origins of the crisis o...more
Western Culture has long separated the mind from the body; and the mind, with its home as the brain, has been privileged as the source of intellect, with the rest of the body annexed as mere matter. But the new field of ‘embodied cognition’, which draws on the latest advances in neuroscience and psychology, offers a richer, more holistic view of intelligence that involves the whole body. At the RSA, author and education reformer Professor Guy Claxton introduces this new field, explores the far...more
Lack of affordable housing is one of the defining social justice issues of our times. Eviction can lead to a cascade of events that can trap families in a cycle of poverty for years. Matthew Desmond is a social scientist and ethnographer, co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project at Harvard University, and a 2015 MacArthur ‘Genius’ award winner. In this election year, Desmond’s landmark work of reportage Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City offers a searing portrait of the con...more
In the evolution of human culture from pre-history to the present, changes in ethical values have been driven by the most basic force of all: energy. In a bold new theory, historian Ian Morris argues that humans have found three main ways to get the energy they need – foraging, farming and fossil fuels – and that in each of these epochs, the dominant energy source sets limits on the kinds of societies that can succeed, and each society in turn rewards specific values. Small forager bands value...more
The world is changing fast and public education needs to change with it. But debates about innovation in education can reinforce existing divides – between ‘progressives’ and ‘traditionalists’, between the converted and the sceptical, between the confident and the constrained. How do we break through these divides and craft a unifying challenge to both teachers and systems to grasp how public education must change to enable learners and institutions to thrive in the new conditions which confro...more
What makes us who we are? Child psychologist and writer Oliver James shares his new findings on the nature-nurture debate. Genetics is often cited as the key factor in explaining what makes us who we are. Recently, however, there is increasing weight given to the importance of our childhood in the formation of our ‘persona’. It is our upbringing, and less so our genes, that is critical to achieving wellbeing and fulfilment across our lifespan. The implications of this are profound. As adults we...more
Can any of us be creative, and if so, how we do we nurture our creativity? How can we advance courageous new ideas, policies and practices without risking it all? New York Times bestselling author and one of Malcolm Gladwell’s favourite thinkers, Professor Adam Grant shows us how to improve the world by championing novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battling conformity, and bucking outdated traditions. But how do we know if we’re harbouring a great idea? How do we counteract fea...more
Author Dawn Foster, Fawcett Society CEO Sam Smethers and ‘Token Man’ founder Daniele Fiandaca debate the values that shape the way we live and work together.
Leading innovation expert and former adviser to the US Secretary of State, Alec Ross visits the RSA to give an insider's perspective on the industries of the future.
After huge successes at the helm of Obama’s Open Government Initiative, Professor Beth Simone Noveck visits the RSA to outline a profound new vision of democracy – one that is rooted in the knowledge and know-how of everyday people.
Founder and president of the Public Banking Institute, Ellen Brown, argues we can recapture the sovereign power to create money by reclaiming ownership of the banks.
How do we develop creative approaches to digital media to bring knowledge, skills, critical thinking – and a passion for reading - to all of our children?
Join our panel to discuss how we can ensure devolved governance strengthens democracy and civic engagement.
Paul Morrell OBE explores a range of challenges facing the built environment professions and the need for adaptability at a time of marked institutional, technological and social evolution.
In 2015, Ban Ki-Moon announced the new sustainable development goals as a ‘to-do list for people and planet’. What role should the UK play to help achieve these vital global goals?
Historian Frank Trentmann traces the evolution of our material culture, and reveals how what we consume has become the defining feature of our lives.
Distinguished educationalist Professor Andy Hargreaves asks what it would take to put teachers at the steering wheel of education reform worldwide?
The Mindfulness Insitute’s Jamie Bristow, and columnist Madeleine Bunting consider how widespread mindfulness training can engineer and support a flourishing society.